Thought-controlled quadcopter takes to the skies

Physical remote controls might be nice when it comes to precision, but they’ve got nothing on mind-control when it comes to awesome. Using an EEG headset, a computer, and some serious thought-power, researchers have developed a quadrotor you can steer with your brain.

Developed at Zhejiang University, the Flying Buddy 2 is controlled with a series of very specific thoughts. Thinking “left hard” makes it take off or land, “left lightly” makes it rotate, “right” makes it go forward, “push” makes it go up, “clench” makes it go down, and blinking makes it take pictures. Presumably these thoughts were chosen because they’re easy to read from brainwaves, because most of them are definitely not intuitive.

The whole system was built with the disabled–specifically the paralyzed–in mind, in hopes of giving them another way to interact with the world around them. It doesn’t seem like it’d be the easiest thing to get the hang of, especially as far as precision is concerned. It’s only in the prototype stage right now, so it’s got a way to go, but it’s still pretty impressive. Not a bad substitute for telekinesis.